If I’ve heard the question “How do I introduce new products and get them seen in amongst all the others on eBay?” once, I’ve heard it a thousand times!
Now, I wish I could tell you that it’s really easy, but I’m afraid it does require a little bit of effort because the standard order for search results is dictated by eBay’s “Best Match” system. Best Match evaluates items and sellers based on a number of important factors that are important to buyers including relevance, cost, postage and the seller’s reputation. That’s a lot of criteria to take into account.
The 5 key points that will help you successfully introduce new products
I’m sure, like every other eBay seller, you want to get to the top of the search results with your products and, thankfully, there are a few things you can do to make sure you get there…
• Your listing must be relevant to the buyer’s search
• Your DSR Scores (Detailed Seller Ratings which are shown on your feedback page) must be high
• Your pricing must be competitive
• Your postage charges must be very low cost or free
• You must build up your recent sales history
Your listing must be relevant to the buyer’s search
This is actually the most important part. In the search results, eBay always displays the items that most closely match what the buyer is looking for. So, when you list your item you need to pay close attention to relevance, meaning your title keywords must be right. Don’t waste those 55 characters – use them wisely.
It is also important to make sure you have listed your item in all relevant categories. Yes, categories plural.
To get extra exposure you can list in more than one category as long as your item fits with the categories you have chosen. But! Remember you have to pay a fee to list in extra categories, so don’t go mad!
The best way to determine which category you should list your item is to research items similar to your own products and note the categories that other eBay sellers are using.
If there are lots of similar products listed in a particular category and none in another then it is likely that these sellers are attracting more sales in the category that they have chosen and so you should list in the same one.
“Item specifics” are an often overlooked part of the listing process, but if you want to appear higher in the search results then you need to fill in as many details as possible. Add your item’s features, condition, colour, brand, size, model number and so on because they are all used by eBay to help determine which items are relevant to each buyer’s search.
So, if you haven’t been filling this section in on your listings, do so now. Don’t skip any of the important ones like “condition” because if your item is new and you don’t specify the fact, buyers who do a narrow search for “new” items won’t see your listing.
Your DSR scores must be high
When it comes to customer satisfaction it is your buyers’ opinions that actually determine whether you are providing good service or not. This is done using Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs).
If you provide great service (according to your DSRs) then you will qualify for standard placement in the search results; and the better your DSRs, the bigger your boost in the search.
If you can keep your DSRs really high you’ll qualify for Top-Rated seller Status which will give your placement a further boost. This is why you must give good service at all times. Your buyer satisfaction rating is measured based on several factors and your rating will be lowered if you receive negative or neutral feedback or low DSRs (1s and 2s).
You can check your DSRs easily from your Seller Dashboard to ensure you are reaching the standards required for a good search standing. Don’t let them slip.
Your postage charges should be very low cost or free
eBay will boost your search placement if you offer free postage. Now, I know you probably don’t want to do this, but often it will let you leapfrog those who don’t meaning you will appear higher in the search results.
Again, check your Seller Dashboard to see how your buyers are rating your postage charges. If your score is below 4 then obviously buyers think your charges are expensive, but if you are hovering around the 4.6–5 mark then that’s good.
Think about whether you need to reduce your charges or offer free postage. Remember, even though you are offering “free” postage, it doesn’t actually have to be “free.” Raise your selling price to cover the costs and you won’t lose out.
Your pricing must be competitive
This is an area where you will need to pay special attention to your competition. Low priced Buy It Now listings tend to do well as they arouse interest, and so you might consider offering a low price AND free postage for a limited time as this will help you build up a sales history on your products. Your recent sales history will then help your search placement, so the more items you can sell from your listing, the higher you will go in the search.
You must build up your recent sales history
If like me, you sell the same products over and over on Buy It Now listings, your recent sales will boost your search results position.
This is how it works:
If your single Buy it Now listing sells successfully you’ll receive a boost in the search results when you relist the same product. It is important that you use the “relist” button rather than simply re-starting the same listing: eBay needs to recognise it as a relist of a product that has already sold successfully.
If you use a multi-quantity Buy It Now listing and sell several or all items at once, you’ll again receive a boost in the search results as your items continue to sell. If you sell all of your items from that listing, when you relist the same products you will get a higher placement in the search. So, always relist your Buy It Now items or use 30 Day or Good Til Cancelled listings to allow a really good sales history to build up. The more you sell, the higher your search placement.
OK, so that’s all very well if you are listing products that are already selling well via other sellers on eBay and you can use similar keywords, but what if you want to list a brand new product that has no sales history at all?
I had this very dilemma just recently when I introduced a new product to my eBay inventory. I needed to come up with a strategy that would allow me to rise through the search results as quickly as possible! So that’s what I did…
I already knew that auction-style listings ending soonest are given an additional boost in the search results and will always appear on page one at some point because the less time they have left to run, the nearer they get. So, I used this to my advantage. You can too!
This strategy is the only time that I ever use auction listings – simply to boost my sales history when I am launching a new product. The aim is simply to sell as many units of of your new product as you can through auction listings, before you move over to Buy It Now.
Here’s what to do:
Write your eBay listing as you would normally but set it as an auction listing, not as Buy It Now. Make sure you get your title keywords right because you’ll be running this exact same auction listing as a Buy it Now at a later date.
Set the starting bid for your product at what you paid for it wholesale on an auction style listing and list it with free postage.
I know it’s possible you won’t make any money on this, but that’s not the point; this is an exercise in building up a sales history for a product and it is this that will benefit you far into the future.
You will need to run at least 15-20 auction listings and have them all sell successfully to give you a sufficient sales history to relist as Buy It Now, so you will need to be a little patient! As I’ve said, this is not a quick fix – but it does work.
Your auction listings will appear in time ending soonest order so you will automatically reach the first page of results with your auction listings as they reach their closing time. This results in guaranteed exposure for your product. This coupled with the fact that you have priced low and are offering free postage should ensure that all your items sell from these auction listings.
Once you feel you have sold enough of your product at auction for eBay to recognise it as an item that is relevant to the best match search and a good seller, then you relist exactly the same product as a multiple quantity Buy It Now listing – preferably on a 30 day or Good Til Cancelled Listing so that you can continue building up your sales history.
Don’t change your title keywords or your listing description, just amend the price so that you are making the profit you require and if possible try and offer free postage.
What is important is that when you relist you “Send to Fixed Price” from the drop-down menu at the side of your listing in your “My eBay” Summary page.
Don’t start a completely new listing; just swap it from auction to Fixed Price. eBay will see the relevance, see that it is the same listing and product that sold well at auction and your search placement will be higher. Your higher placement means that you can continue to gather a sales history on your Buy It Now listing and the more you sell, the higher you will rise.
This strategy works because eBay sees that your item – with the same keywords – has previously sold well at auction. It stands to reason that because the keywords are the same and it’s the same product, it will still sell well on a Buy It Now listing, so eBay will place it higher in the search simply because they know that people are searching for and buying that item!
If you are on a mission to get on to page one of the search results for your category or keywords then this is the way to do it. It’s not a quick fix, it does take some effort and you will need to be patient but it is the only way to move on up. Done correctly this will help you push your way to the top. Try it and see for yourself…